Philip went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, and they went down there, and prayed for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet he had not come down on any of them: they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
In the passage above we hear of Samaria and Jerusalem together receiving the good news of communion in Christ, and working together to share and build up the communion of the Church.
At the heart of Catholic Christianity is communion – communion in Christ and with the Church.
We are not Christian if we are alone with Christ for Christ is not Christ alone with himself.
We are not Church in our community, united with Christ, but outside of the communion of the Church – for the Church is the community of faithful, one in all places and at all times.
Finding and living this communion is rarely easy – for, like us, other Christians and other communities in the Church, are ‘peculiar’! But as Christ’s love embraces each of us and seeks to draw us to something beyond our uniqueness, uniting us in love and service of God and neighbour.
- With whom do you find communion challenging?
- For what aspect of communion are you most grateful?
Medieval Floor tile. Palais des Papes, Avignon, France. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.